The wins just keep on coming here early on in the baseball season, and we cashed another winning ticket last night when we backed the Chicago White Sox as underdogs against the Milwaukee Brewers. The White Sox had won five straight games entering play last night, and the offense had been lights out since they moved rookie sensation, Luis Robert, to the leadoff spot, having scored a whopping 26 runs in their previous three games with Robert hitting up top.
Throw in the fact that the Brewers bullpen had been atrocious, and I felt that backing the Sox with a healthy scoop of dog money, was a great play and fired hard on Chicago. I hated having to fade Brandon Woodruff, as this guy has been great the last two years, but I knew that eventually, he would have to turn the keys of the car over to the bullpen, and that is where I knew that Chicago had a chance to exploit the Brew Crew.
#ChangetheGame with back-to-back road sweeps.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 5, 2020
The game played out essentially exactly as I had expected. Woodruff was indeed solid as he pitched five shutout innings before giving up two runs in the sixth and getting yanked from the game. He turned things over to the bullpen with the game tied up at two runs apiece, and like clockwork, the Brewer’s bullpen again blew the game.
Chicago took the lead on a Jose Abreu RBI single in the seventh inning, held on late, and we cashed our underdog bet. For today’s bet, we will stay right here with this series as it shifts to Chicago and break down the action in game three between the White Sox and Brewers.
Milwaukee Brewers (3-5) at Chicago White Sox (7-4)
The Chicago White Sox are looking to win their seventh straight game tonight as they host the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of a four-game series with the Brewers. The first two games were played in Milwaukee, with the White Sox taking both games in come from behind fashion, and now the series shifts to Chicago, for games three and four.
For Milwaukee, the Brewers are reeling, as their bullpen has let them down so far in 2020, and wins are hard to come by as leads are tough to get, and seemingly impossible to keep. The Brewers haven’t won a game since July 29th, after seeing their series against the St. Louis Cardinals get canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Starting tonight for the White Sox is Dallas Keuchel (2-0 3.38 ERA), and for the Brewers, it is Adrian Houser (0-0 1.80 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine runs. The White Sox are small -115 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PST from Guaranteed Rate Park in Chicago.
What is going on in Milwaukee right now? I mentioned in yesterday’s pick that the Brewers have ridden their bullpen to a lot of success in the last couple of years, and they have tried to do again that this year, as they are keeping all of their starters on low pitch counts. But despite having much of the same staff as they had previously, the results just haven’t been there for Milwaukee.
The bullpen has blown leads in each of the first two games of this series, and if they can’t figure out a way to get these guys pitching at the same level as they have in the last couple of years, they are going to really struggle to win games. To make matters worse, the bats are failing the Brewers as well, as they have just six home runs on the year, and their team batting average is one of the worst in the game at .212.
Adrian Houser (0-0 1.80 ERA)
When you look at Adrian Houser’s first start, it was very representative of how the Brewers have handled their rotation. He was pitching well, as he had allowed just one run on only one hit, through five innings, yet was pulled from the game after just 68 pitches. He left the game, and the bullpen came in and immediately gave up four runs.
The Brewers were able to rally in the ninth for four runs of their own and won the game in the 11th inning, but that has been the exception and not the rule for Milwaukee. It will be very interesting to see if the Brewers decide to leave Houser in the game longer tonight, particularly if he is having as much success as he had in his first start.
Chicago White Sox
Something special is happening with this White Sox team right now. They are figuring things out at the plate, and they have shown the ability to rally late in games, and this six-game winning streak is the current longest active streak in the American League.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 5, 2020
The White Sox are hitting .284 as a team, which is the highest in all of baseball, and they are in the top five in every other major offensive statistical category, including on-base percentage, runs scored, home runs, and slugging percentage.
It has been a little concerning that all of their losses have come to the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins, teams that they are competing with in the crowded American League Central Division, but this team certainly is starting to look like one that needs to be feared in the AL.
Dallas Keuchel (2-0 3.38 ERA)
The White Sox have been building up their roster with young prospects for the last several seasons, and with that rebuild looking compete heading into 2020, the brought in several veterans to give this team some experience to go along with their ample level of young talent. Dallas Keuchel was one of those veteran additions, and so far, this year, he has done exactly what they brought him in to do.
Keuchel has made two starts and has two wins on his record to show for it. Keuchel has used his trademark style of pitching to contact, forcing ground balls, and getting deep into games by keeping his pitch count low and working efficiently. He has also enjoyed some nice run support, as the White Sox have scored thirteen runs in his two starts.
Who Do I Like?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have backed the White Sox in each of these last two games against Milwaukee, and both games have played out eerily similar. The Brewers take an early lead, get a good outing from their starter, and then give the game away late. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see that same script play out again tonight.
Adrian Houser has been solid in his two-year career, and he looked great in his first start of the year. I would expect him to be at least respectable again tonight against Chicago. But this never say die White Sox team has come from behind to win their last three games, and if Keuchel is shaky, I still see the White Sox as the side to back.
Wow. I can’t believe what this line is doing right now. The White Sox opened as -145 home field favorites, and that number felt sharp. The White Sox are red hot, and the Brewers haven’t won a game in almost a week. But since the line opened, the public has been all over the Brewers, shifting the line over thirty points!
I just can’t follow that logic, as this White Sox team is finding ways to win games day in and day out right now, where the Brewers are doing the exact opposite, as they are losing games that they should be winning.
I am going to back the hot hand and stay with Chicago. I love getting to fade the public and getting a thirty-point discount on the play, makes this bet extra juicy. Give me the Chicago White Sox as small home favorites tonight in game three, laying -115!